NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price delivered his final State of the City address Wednesday.

The event was held at the Ferguson Center for the Arts on the campus of Christopher Newport University with the theme being “Our Stage is Set.” Mayor Price highlighted recent city accomplishments while reflecting on his 12 years as Mayor of Newport News and unveiling the city’s new logo and brand–Built on Breakthroughs.

“As I prepare to leave office at the end of this year, I look forward to thanking those who have been a part of this incredible journey,” said Mayor Price. “This is more than a speech – it’s a celebration of all that we’ve accomplished together over the past 12 years.”

It was a full circle moment for Mayor Price who delivered his last address at the same place where he was once the only black student in a pre-calculus summer class during segregation.

“Now here I am standing on this stage in the same school where I was once ridiculed. Think about that. From Ferguson High School to Ferguson Center. I’ve come full circle,” Price told the audience.

After 12 1/2 years, Mayor Price is passing the torch and focusing on his family and dental practice.

“I just want to be remembered as an average guy that did the best he could with what he had and hopefully show the youth that if you have the chance you can be anything you want to be,” Price told 10 On Your Side.

Price’s final address ended on an emotional note.

“Serving as mayor of Newport News is one of the greatest honors of my life. Our stage is set for the next chapter in the great story of Newport News. May you leave here today committed to working on tomorrow as we build and breakthrough. Remember we smash atoms and build nuclear aircraft carriers. Anything is possible,” Price concluded.

Mayor Price’s successor Phil Jones tells us he has the utmost respect for Price and is inspired by his leadership.

“A great man, someone that laid a strong foundation over the last 12 years. We are in a prime position for growth and now it’s up to not just me but the other council members to take that energy and capture it and boldly lead us to the future,” Jones stated.

Phillip Jones, the city’s current planning commissioner, declared victory on election night to succeed Price. Jones, 33, outraised his opponents combined by more than $116,000. Jones will be sworn in during council’s first meeting in 2023 on Jan. 10.

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